Monthly Archives: May 2010

Not In My Backyard!

Possum from australian-wildlife.com/Possum-information.html

Oh we do so love cuddly, furry animals. Cute, pink noses and adorable little faces – you just want to grab them and cuddle them!

But when they’re jumping on your roof in the night and eating the oranges and figs off your very own trees – well that’s not cute at all! In fact that’s a statement of war!

Possums and fruit bats spring to mind.

The Royal Botanical Gardens have decided to wage war against fruit bats. Colonies of thousands of bats have been living in the Botanical Gardens in the middle of the Sydney CBD for years. Apparently they have destroyed trees and they have to go. So the method to be used in this war against the bats is noise. Every day in the gardens, a siren will be blasted. The noise is so annoying to bats that they will have no choice but to relocate.

But where to?

If anyone thinks that they’ll be welcomed in the suburbs then they have another thing coming. We don’t want possums so we definitely won’t want fruit bats.

Sydney is undergoing an “epidemic” of possum-dumping. Those cute little roof-hopping animals are being illegally trapped and dumped far away from home. I don’t suppose the trappers care too much about the future prospects for the possums, but once a native animal is taken to new territory its chances of survival are slim at best. Animals are territorial and will attack any interloper.

Put yourself in their paws. Imagine being taken far from home and dumped in the middle of nowhere without means of support.  You can certainly expect a hostile reaction from the natives.

Wires staff has been called to rescue 1030 ringtail and 843 brush tail possums this year in NSW. But once they rescue them, what next? Unless they know where they originally came from they can’t return them to their original habitat.

Soon we’ll be having the same problem with the fruit bats that have been driven from the Botanical Gardens.

But why are we finding fruit bats and possums to be so problematic? It’s all because their own native environments have been denuded to make way for ever more houses.

On Friday 9 April Sylvia Hale of the Greens Political Party spoke at a packed meeting at Crescent Head about the State Government’s plans to develop housing on high value conservation land on the Goolawah Estate at Crescent Head.

Locals are angry that development would destroy an endangered ecological community, which is home to many native animals including koalas, glossy black cockatoos and quolls. All  governments (Labor or Liberal) care not a fig for keeping vast tracts of land development free – they look at them with dollar signs in their eyes. There is a lot of money to be made in development fees!

Meanwhile, in the suburbs, as we have moved further and further from nature we all seem to view nature as an enemy to our comfort.  Living in our little castles we are increasingly annoyed by anything and everything natural.

We call the pest control service to nuke mice, birds, mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants, wasps at the drop of a hat. It would be impossible to live through an ant invasion.  No one bothers with natural preventative measures. Toxic chemicals are sprayed all over the house and then everyone is surprised at the huge incidence of chemical sensitivity and allergic reactions amongst children and adults. Not to mention how the chemicals poison our pets and the soil in our gardens.

My view is that we have more to fear from the toxic chemicals than we do from a cockroach. I bet more people have died from chemicals than have died from cockroaches. Admittedly ugly to our sensitivities, I suspect that cockroaches find us vile too.

I constantly hear about how people have waged war against their neighbour’s trees. Someone once told me that one Saturday they went to the pictures and returned to find that a tree in their garden had vanished. Not a leaf or even a stump remained. Either it had been transported by aliens to their space ship, or the neighbour had taken possession during their absence. My mother also has been under pressure from a neighbour who took delight in pouring oil and poison into the roots of her trees. These are not isolated incidents. Councils would be hearing similar stories every day of the week.

Money Tree - now would that be chopped down?

Noise pollution laws protect us from the most horrible of noises – the sound of a crowing rooster. Not so long ago (well at least in my lifetime) everyone’s grandparents had hens in the backyard. I used to think how lovely it was to wake up to the sound of a rooster crowing. Now, anyone living in the suburbs with a rooster on their premises will be fined a considerable amount of money – last I heard it was $10,000.

So why do we hate nature so much? Why have people so warmly embraced the Mac Mansion Houses that take up every centlimetre of land, leaving absolutely no room for a tree or even a shrub? What has nature done to us that makes us so resentful?

Personally I blame King Charlemagne. In 772  he chopped down Irminsul, the sacred tree of the pagans in England. Ever since that day we have been leaving the land and moving to the city. We have all lost our bond with nature. We don’t understand the traditional way of life of Aborigines, Native American Indians and native jungle dwellers. They all stand in the way of our greedy desire for their land. All have been persecuted and now all have huge numbers suffering from white people’s conditions – alcoholism, diabetes and a sense of hopelessness.

By and large we hate trees – they block our views and their roots block drains. Annoying wildlife lives in them. Possums, birds, squirrels, wasps and more all live in trees and they defecate on the clothes on our lines. They launch their nightly attacks on our rooves and they make noises.

The war we are waging on nature seems harmless enough to us today. The day will come when we will cry that we have no trees and we have no native animals. But when that day comes it will be too late.

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Nudies Save Lives!

No more orangutans - all because of palm oil!

The Cree Indians had a saying-

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.
— 19th century Cree Indian saying

It’s pretty famous and I’m sure you’ve heard it. I think pretty soon we’ll all be chomping on crunchy green notes.  But they’ll have to be plastic notes because there’ll be no trees left to make paper.

I’ve been hearing for some time that the last of the market gardeners around Sydney have been selling their land to property developers. The Maltese and Chinese market gardeners used to provide a great deal of produce to Sydney from their market gardens in the Horsley Park area.

So how will we get enough food?

Farmers are struggling with extreme weather conditions. In Australia we have become used to drought, locusts, bush fire and sudden flooding – all not good for crops and livestock. Farmers have a mean taskmaster – the supermarket chains who pay them pennies for their stock but sell it for megabucks.  I’m sure that if any farmer had a viable alternative they would leave the land in a flash.

So that leaves overseas purchases.  A great deal of food is grown in China but we eat that produce at our own risk – if we are concerned about dodgy pesticides and gross fertilizers (human excrement). Anything coming in from overseas could be irradiated and/or genetically modified. I mean, we don’t know what they’re doing to our food grown in Australia, but at least it’s our own germs so to speak!

Most food choices contain either or both – soy protein and palm oil.  These crops are both no-nos. Soybeans are now one of the chief denuders of the Amazon Rainforest. There are Brazilian farmers out there right now, hacking down the Amazon so they can grow more soy beans for European pigs and for our bread.  The same is happening in Argentina. Since the Argentian peso was floated the Argentinians have fallen on hard times and now they have fallen prey to soy bean global manipulation. They have chopped down their forests too, endangering many Argentinian forest dwelling species, so that more soy beans can be grown.

As for palm oil, most of South East Asian jungles have now been burnt to the ground so that more palm trees can be grown. Where palm oil used to be supplied by Nigeria, the incredible demand for palm oil worldwide has seen supply shift to South East Asia. Now that they have burnt down their own jungles, Indonesia is about to start burning down the jungles in Papua New Guinea. We can expect two million hectares of virgin jungle to be burnt down in the next few years. The aim is to grow  palm oil plantations and yes, soy beans.

Soy beans are mostly genetically modified. Palm oil is a thick yellow oil  that clogs the arteries.

Since we can’t buy a loaf of bread that doesn’t contain soybean protein, or a bar of soap or chocolate, or a biscuit or cake that doesn’t contain palm oil, our food choices (if we are concerned about our health) are seriously diminished.

Hence, I suggest we all live on Nudies. Nudies are the most delicious fruit drinks. They don’t contain palm oil or soy beans. They contain no sugar or preservatives and they are good for you. In fact, my father who has just recently suffered congestive heart failure and can’t eat, only likes to drink Nudies. And I have to agree, they taste delicious.  I emailed the company to tell them how they’re keeping my dad alive and they told me that this is not the first time they’ve heard this story and that lots of children who don’t like eating fruit really like Nudies.

So what lives do Nudies save? Well off the top of my head – they are keeping my dad alive; they are nourishing children who won’t eat fruit; they are not causing jungles to be burnt down in either South East Asia or Brazil and hence they are saving orangutans, tigers, snakes, monkeys, butterflies and big spiders.

And they’re not paying me to say this either! But let’s face it, there’s not much in the way of alternatives with regard to wholesome foods to eat out there. So, drink a Nudie and keep reading those food labels – avoiding soy protein and palm oil – and do the environment and your health a favour.

That was a bit tongue in cheek, but the sentiments are sincere, and the gravity of the global problem not to be underestimated!

The picture at the top was taken from http://www.globalteer.org/projects/volunteer-indonesia-wildlife-rescue.html  They rescue orangutans.

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Something Oily is Going on Here!

 

Sea life is now only safe in Sea World

The current  BP oil spill in the Mississippi Delta made me think of a Macrobiotic philosophy. It is something like this – a big front hides an even bigger back. The front is the good side that we all see and the back is the bad side that is hidden by the big front.

The oil industry is a perfect example of this philosophy. We need petrol for our cars.  Billions of cars taking people quickly to their destinations would have to be the good side.  Trucks, planes, ships and machinery also run on the fuel.

However, there is definitely a big back to this one.

A man named Stan Meyer invented a dune buggy circa 1995. This vehicle ran on water. It ran 100 miles to the gallon. Such was the threat of such a vehicle to the oil industry that he was apparently offered a billion dollars by an Arab to shelve the idea.  He refused to accept.

He died of  food poisoning in mysterious circumstances in 1998 and immediately the buggy and the plans were stolen. Nothing has been done on this concept since that time.  Read about Stan here http://waterpoweredcar.com/stanmeyer.html

Oil pipes frequently run through the lands of poor farmers, poisoning the soil. Nigeria is such a country.

Here is a piece I have taken directly from the website http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/cases_03-04/Ogoni/Ogoni_case_study.htm

The Nigerian delta has some of the best agricultural land in Africa, as well as vast oil resources.� The area is densely populated by many different tribal groups, including the Ogoni people who have lived there for over 500 years.� Several oil companies, including Shell, set up operations in the 1950s and since then, the land, water, and air have been polluted to such a great extent that the Ogoni people�s livelihood is threatened.

The effect of pollution on the Nigerian delta has been great.� As a result of oil spills and industrial waste dumped into the Niger River Delta, fishing as a means of supplying food for the tribe is no longer an option because very few fish remain in the river.� The groundwater is contaminated and is not safe for drinking, and the rainwater cannot be collected for drinking because it falls as acid rain. Dr. Owens Wiwa, a medical doctor and human rights activist from the area says, �We cannot drink the water from the streams, you can’t drink rainwater and there is no piped water. Our right to drinking water has been taken away by the company, our right to farming has been taken away by the company, and our right to clean air has also been taken away by the company� (1). Developed countries such as the United Stated require mud from drilling to be enclosed in a containment well or land fill to prevent seepage. However, the Nigerian government permits oil operations to dispose of the drilling waste directly into the river (2).

The air has also been severely polluted. The natural gas that is a byproduct of drilling is flared off horizontally from five flaring stations, some of which are near homes and villages. Flaring is a process in which the gas is collected in batches and then combusted, creating a loud explosion. More dangerous in the long run is the massive amounts of carbon dioxide created by flaring off gas that could be sold or even donated to the local people for a cooking fuel.� Flaring, combined with the methane and soot produced by the two refineries, petrochemical complex, and fertilizer complex that are in Ogoniland produce low air quality linked to cancer, asthma, and other lung diseases.� The flaring has also been associated with reduced crop yield and plant growth on nearby farms (2).

The most immediate threat to Ogoni people is oils spills, which have damaged their land dramatically.� At least one hundred pumping stations and pipelines crisscross Ogoniland (1).� The pipelines run over farm land and through villages; leaks and spills are a common occurrence. From 1970 to 1982, 1,581 oil spill incidences were recorded in the Niger Delta, over 1.5 million gallons of which were a result of Shell’s 27 incidents.� While Shell runs oil operations in over one hundred different countries, 40% of the company’s spills were in Nigeria (3).� What little Shell has done to clean up these spills has been delayed and inadequate.

In mid 2006 a huge oil spill along Lebanon’s Mediterranean shore was caused by Israeli planes hitting a Lebanese power plant, dumping 15,000 tons of oil into the Eastern Mediterranean. The entire coastline of Lebanon, which is an important environmental site, was coated with oil, killing blue fin tuna and green turtles, among other sea life. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060731-lebanon-oil.html

Then there was what was formerly considered to be the most devastating man-made environmental disaster in history – the Exxon Valdez oil spill. This occurred in Prince William Sound in Alaska on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker heading for Long Beach, California, spilled 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of crude oil when it hit a reef. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this spill is still affecting local communities twenty years on http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/exxon-valdez-oil-disaster-still-affects-communities-wildlife-20100504-u53t.html . Oil still clogs beaches and there have been social effects in the local communities ranging from domestic violence to alcoholism.

And now we have the terrible BP  environmental disaster in Mississippi. Only time will tell how that has damaged the fragile eco system in Mississippi. However, having millions of gallons of oil pouring into the water can hardly be healthy for the local sea life. Some are saying that this oil spill is worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster.

There are more factors at stake besides the decimation of local wildlife and sea life. Fishing communities are destroyed and locals lose their livelihoods. Tourism is also affected and its financial benefits lost.

To read more about the numerous oil spills in the US alone that are not generally reported, read http://naturescrusaders.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/hundreds-of-us-oil-spills-in-2010-alone-enough-oil-gods-must-fall/

Cynics  (and there are an awful lot of them) believe that the wars in the Middle East, starting with Iraq, had more to do with preserving America’s oil supply than any other consideration.

The reason for Britain’s interest in the tiny Falkland Islands has now become apparent as England has begun drilling for oil there.

I wonder how it sits on leaders’ consciences that young men and women had to give their lives for such a crass commercial consideration?  I’m not sure how saving a country’s oil supply could be considered to be a noble ideal – especially in the light of no one wanting to explore the application of an invention that made oil redundant (Stan Meyer’s dune buggy).

These days we do have vehicles which run on electricity but they are too expensive for the average consumer. And of course they have to be recharged regularly which does diminish their ability to be used for long trips. Toyota manufactures the hybrid Prius which has had problems, but still runs on petrol as well as electricity.

No one seems prepared to move away from petrol, there is way too much politics and money involved.

Now I think about it, water probably isn’t the answer either. Although it is a cleaner fuel, it hardly ever rains in Sydney these days so I don’t know where the water would come from if that became our new fuel. The price of water would go through the roof. There is also a nasty big back to the water industry – water rights issues in third world countries; farmers’ dams being forcibly taken over by the government and dams flooding pristine wildlife areas etc.

Maybe Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, has the right idea. Everyone thinks she is severely misguided as she has ordered all the city roads to be dug up and made into bicycle tracks. She seems to be under the misapprehension that everyone is going to want to cycle to work if she does this. However, although it would certainly be wonderful for the environment, I don’t see this happening. The back side of that is that there is going to be so much road rage coming up that it won’t be safe to drive into the city!

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The Value of Life – The Big Trade-Off

I remember seeing an episode of Judge John Deed a year or so ago. The story was about a teenager who needed a transplant (I think it was a heart transplant) and he refused to have it because it would mean he’d be dependant on anti rejection drugs for the rest of his life.  He felt that as the drugs had been all tested on animals, by taking them he’d be contributing to their pain and suffering. His mother overrode his objections and even Judge Deed sided with the mother although he admitted that the teenager was very articulate and made a very good case for the stand he was taking. The boy died during surgery so we never got to see how he would have dealt with being given a heart he obviously didn’t want.

Radical? Well maybe not. In fact I totally agree. Of course, I suppose that given a choice between life and death I’d most probably choose life, as would most of us. However, when I read this week about a hideous experiment that scientists conducted on mice I had to wonder when it was decided that the lives (and not to mention the beauty) of humans were worth the intolerable suffering of billions of mice, rats, monkeys, dogs, pigs, apes, sheep,  rabbits and who knows what other animals?

The experiment I am referring to involved mice being injected with acid and mustard oil so that their grimaces could be measured. See http://www.news.com.au/technology/mice-injected-with-acid-mustard-oil-in-study-to-measure-facial-grimace/story-e6frfro0-1225864586173   I suppose it is handy, if you are exposing animals to all sorts of dreadful suffering, to know exactly how much they are suffering. Does this mean that they’ll be replicating the experiment with monkeys, rabbits, dogs etc ? My thoughts are that they will.

At this moment there are countless rabbits in laboratories all over the world, having all manner of cosmetics, shampoos and hair colouring agents painted on their eyes.  And that is only in the name of beauty.

I have an image indelibly printed in my memory. Years ago when they conducted the first heart transplant between an ape and a human, I remember breathlessly watching the news  as a huge ape was carried into surgery.  What still pains me to this day was seeing how happy it looked as it waved its arms and looked curiously around.  A few minutes later its heart was ripped out. For what? As far as I can remember the transplantee died soon after the operation.

So, for every person who receives a transplanted heart from an ape, it follows that an ape must die.  Is that a fair trade?  Of course, you’d say, humans are worth much more than monkeys. But on what basis? Do monkeys destroy the earth as man has done? Man’s lasting achievement is that without a shadow of doubt he has changed the face of the earth in not an altogether good way. And by man, I don’t mean indigenous communities. I mean industrialized man.

As well as being a writer, I am an acupuncturist.  It is our philosophy that ill health can be treated with acupuncture, herbs and alternative therapies. I myself have had great success with acupuncture both personally and professionally. I also love to travel to India for Ayurvedic medical treatment involving herbs and massage. Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India. You can read about my treatment here http://www.wisewomensworld.com/wiseWomen/Roslyn/Ayurvedictreatment.htm

I constantly read about the side effects of Western medicine. In most cases drugs mask the symptoms but do not cure the illness. Cancer is treated by chemotherapy which is a cocktail of toxins. The purpose of chemotherapy is not to ‘cure’ cancer  – it is to kill the cancer cells. Of course, being a toxic cocktail it also kills the healthy cells, but this is the trade off one apparently has to make in the battle against cancer.  Pharmaceutical companies are making squillions of dollars marketing chemotherapy drugs and jealously guard their hold on the cancer ‘cure’.  No other person except a medical practitioner is allowed to say they can treat cancer.

Recently drug companies cracked down on an alternative therapy which has proven very successful in treating cholesterol. It is called Lipoplex. Lipoplex is made from red rice which apparently works in the same way as statins, but without the muscle wastage which is a hallmark of medical statins.  Where formerly, Lipoplex could only be obtained from a naturopath, now it can only be obtained from a medical practitioner. I don’t think, given the hold of Lipitor and Crestor on doctors, that there’ll be too many presciptions for Lipoplex written.

Of course it must be understood that drug companies are not going to get richer by actually curing an illness, are they? They don’t cure elevated cholesterol. If you are on a statin drug for ten years and then stop taking it, your cholesterol will immediately return to its previously elevated position. Hence you are obliged to take cholesterol lowering drugs and therefore suffer the side effects, for life. The same applies to blood pressure medication, arthritis drugs, heart medication and diabetes medication.  It certainly doesn’t pay a pharmaceutical company to invent a formula to cure a condition. That is because that is way too hard.  So they mask the symptoms and force you, the consumer, to take their pills to the day you die.  And a lot of people die from the side effects of the drugs they are taking.

 Recently we had a serious example in Australia whereby 251 children under the age of 5 suffered extreme reactions including convulsions after being injected with flu vaccine. One child actually died from the vaccine http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/26/2883011.htm and http://www.news.com.au/national/flu-shot-fatality-toddler-dies-12-hours-after-having-vaccination/story-e6frfkvr-1225857872979  If parents weren’t encouraged by pharmaceutical companies to be terrified of every little illness killing their children, they would allow them to develop natural immunity. That is nature’s way although it is an unfashionable concept these days.  Drug companies would demand that everyone gets vaccinated against every condition known to man if they had their way.  But are even half the vaccines necessary? In Australia last year everyone was half scared out of their minds by the threat of swine flu. Quick as a wink, a vaccine was developed. No one in my extended family took  the vaccine and none of them caught the swine flu and for that matter, I don’t know anyone who did catch it.  It was a total non event. What a waste of money to have the vaccination!

There are many books written on the subject of the hold of the pharmaceutical industy over medical practitioners. Much has been written about how normal conditions such as menopause and depression are now medical conditions that must be treated with drugs. If you don’t believe me see http://beyondthecurtain.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/court-documents-show-hrt-drugs-based-on-medical-fraud/ Much has been written about how thresholds for acceptable cholesterol levels have been lowered so that more prescriptions for statins can be handed out.

In the meantime, laboratories all over the world are working overtime pumping one chemical after another into little and big animals. I remember speaking to a woman who worked for a big laboratory and when I asked her about the animal experiments she told me blissfully that their animals were the happiest animals around. They were so well cared for they were happy to die in the service of mankind. Now how good is that?

Why don’t medical professionals take some time to teach people about the value of foods to health? People of Asian background know full well about the health value of food. They consider foods to be heating or cooling and they know that heating foods should not be taken when the health problem is a hot condition. Western born people mostly would not think of their health conditions in those terms and would certainly think nothing of eating ice cream when they had a cold. For the most part, people in the West are totally out of touch with their bodies.  If this was not the case how would so many fast food enterprises have thrived with billion dollar profits? Why is it only Asian born people who seem to know about eating for good health?  We all need to know about the synergies of food in the fight against ill health.  There is certainly more to food than vitamins and minerals. I remember a Chinese herbalist telling me that the Chinese believe that when someone is sick they should first turn to food for the cure and only when that doesn’t work should they turn to herbs and medicines.

Now if doctors and schools took the time to educate us on how to avoid ill health by making appropriate food and lifestyle choices, then we wouldn’t need to be reliant on drugs.  There are a few holistic doctors in practice but for the most part if you go to a doctor with diarrhoea or a kidney infection, the doctor reaches for a script. And yet there are definitely food cures for these conditions.  Of course we can also blame the patient. We have been so conditioned to want a quick fix – ie the pill that can cure everything instantly – that we don’t even want to take the time to treat our health naturally. Such has been the overuse of antibiotics, which are even mixed in with the food fed to farm animals, that there are now super bugs which are antibiotic resistant.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, if you have a headache or you have diarrhoea, investigate other ways to treat it rather than taking a pill. Firstly, you’ll be doing your kidneys and liver a favour, and secondly, you’ll be reducing demand. Of course, if the condition is more serious, see your doctor!

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Happy Mother’s Day – But Not For Pigs!

 

Aren't they cute?

This Sunday it’s Mother’s Day – so happy Mother’s Day for Sunday!

Maybe some of you are familiar with the above picture of a tiger with piglets. This came from a widely circulated email about a mother tiger whose baby died. She was inconsolable and the zoo feared she’d die so they thought of an ingenious method to cheer her up. They dressed some piglets in tiger material (golly, I hope they didn’t use tiger skin!) and introduced them to the tiger. This could have gone so very wrong! However, as you’ll see, the experiment was a huge success and the result was one happy tiger and a number of very relieved piglets.

I just received an email from Animals Australia Action Network http://www.animalsaustralia.org/action/ . To quote from their email –

Many Australians are still unaware that in Australia it is legal to confine mother pigs in metal and concrete sow crates for their entire 4 month pregnancy in a space that only allows them to take one step forward or back. Mother pigs in a natural environment will spend the 24 hours prior to giving birth gathering together straw and twigs to make a nest to give birth to her babies in comfort. One can only imagine their distress at being forced to give birth on a hard concrete or metal floor in the same area that they toilet and then being unable to nurture their piglets due to the bars that surround their body. Their distress continues as they have no choice but to watch on helplessly as their piglets’ tails are cut off and needle teeth brutally clipped without pain relief in the first week of their life.

They ask us to write to the editor of your local newspaper to encourage people to spare a thought for the sad plight of factory farmed mother pigs on Mother’s Day and urge consumers to stop supporting this cruelty by refusing to purchase factory farmed pork products.

Have a look at their website. They are committed to animal welfare and list the latest actions in helping the plight of animals. If you decide to write to your local paper about cruelty to pigs, have a look at their tips and let them know on this link http://www.animalsaustralia.org/action/get_active.php?action=&feedback=1

Of course, it would be inaccurate to think that pigs will be the only animals suffering this Mother’s Day. We all know this isn’t true! Pick an animal! If you trawl through my blog you’ll find a plethora of animal issues.

But we are talking about pigs today.

The RSPCA has put together a fact sheet on the plight of pigs http://www.rspcaqld.org.au/campaigns/quitstalling/Kids-fact-sheet.pdf  .  Have a read of it as it debunks popular myths about pigs.  They’re not dirty – they roll in mud to keep cool because they can’t sweat. They love to socialize and they are very smart.

Pigs have an excellent sense of smell and are used to hunt truffles in Europe. They can solve puzzles and be trained to perform tricks.

However, our poor treatment of pigs extends not only to farming practice and often cruel treatment in abattoirs, but to medical practice where they are used in experiments.  Recently PETA reported that they were able to save a large number of pigs in Europe which had been earmarked for an experiment. The plan was to bury the pigs in snow and then see which ones survived! The premise of the experiment was that when skiers are buried in an avalanche, some survive and others don’t – so are there pockets of air in the snow? So what? Why would they have to kill a lot of pigs to do such a silly test? http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/01/avalanche-study-will-bury-pigs-in-snow-to-watch-them-die.php Luckily, due to the outrage of animal lovers, they dropped the proposed experiment. But there’ll be others…

People who have pigs as pets love them dearly. George Clooney had a pot bellied pig as a pet whom he kept until it died. They are faithful pets and are excellent company at home. But if you can’t keep a pig, then maybe you’d like to sponsor one.  The following organisation allows you to sponsor one of their farm animals.

A number of times I have spoken about the Catskills Animal Sanctuary. They rescue abandoned and ill treated farm animals and nurse them back to health. They have a regular newsletter in which they advertise farm animals searching for homes. Go to http://www.casanctuary.org/ and you’ll see a pig on the homepage today. They have a number of pigs in their care.  Incidentally, last year a very kind benefactor offered to meet donations to the Sanctuary dollar for dollar to the amount of $1.5 million up to 31st. December, 2010. It’s wonderful to know that someone cares enough to make that offer! So if you donate $10 to the welfare of their pigs, they’ll actually get $20!

I just checked their adoption alerts for today and would you believe – there is one for a pig! Here it is – ring them if you are in the US.

URGENT Miss Piggy is a very friendly, elderly pot belly pig. Her family’s farm is in foreclosure and she must be placed ASAP. Located in Orange County, NY. Please contact Paula at 845-551-5765.

By the way, I used to prepare the  financial  accounts for a piggery and I noticed an awful lot of antibiotics in their every day purchases. I got the impression that it was put in all the pigs’ feed. So beware, if you eat pork, you’re also getting a big dose of antibiotics which you didn’t order! And don’t forget – due to the over the top consumption of antibiotics throughout the world, there are now super germs which are antibiotic resistant. Don’t eat pork (sorry but that includes ham and bacon) and you won’t be contributing to their suffering and you won’t be getting an unknown dose of antibiotics. Anyway, why would you want to eat processed pork products? They’re full of unknown preservatives and the method used in curing the pork uses toxic materials which are carcinogenic.

Hire the movie “BABE” on Mother’s Day in sympathy for pigs.

MORE ON THE BEARS

If you read my last blog on the bears, you might like to read the latest from Animals Asia.org  http://www.animalsasia.org/emailupdate/html/emailUpdate_en_30042010_bearAppeal.html?tkn=m1081507&eid=719&sou=AL10MBRGENEM&b=html  . I urge you to read it.

THE DOOFUZZ DUDES GO TO MUSWELLBROOK

Last week I travelled to Muswellbrook as guest of the Muswellbrook Library.  During the week I visited six of their regional libraries and spoke to a large number of local schools. I had a wonderful week and would like to thank the library for their kindness to me. I also found a fantastic olive grove which sold wonderful, freshly squashed (extra virgin)  olive oils. It’s called Pukara Estate at Denman. I was thrilled when the library gave me a bag of goodies from Pukara Estate as a present. Lucky me.

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